CLARK COUNTY – A New Carlisle woman is in jail after MPs said she falsely reported an active shooter at the Navistar factory on Urbana Road on Thursday morning.
Major Chris Clark said the factory worker texted his sister to tell her there had been a report of an active shooter. This sister then called 911 at around 11:45 a.m., prompting a county-wide law enforcement response to the plant from several police departments, Clark said.
“She said there was a guy who was fired yesterday and he came with a gun and they are barricaded with the lights off in an office,” the sister told a 911 dispatcher. texted me and I’m afraid to text him if they’re barricaded and hiding. “
Clark said MPs were at the scene within two minutes and quickly entered the facility looking for the reported active shooter, when they were finally alerted that the report was an April Fool’s Day joke.
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“She put a lot of people in danger today because of a stupid joke,” Clark said.
The worker, identified as Pamela Sisco, 57, of New Carlisle, was arrested. Sisco is due in court Friday morning after being accused of causing panic and disrupting public services, prison records show.
A spokesperson for Navistar said she was immediately suspended by the company.
“Navistar immediately suspended the employee pending further investigation. The company is working with local authorities, ”the company said in a statement.
The sheriff’s office said the prank led to several 911 calls to their dispatch center.
“Because we have seen so many mass shootings everyone is afraid,” Governor Mike DeWine said. “What someone might have imagined as a joke, there is just no tolerance today for a joke like this.”
Workers and family members described the terrifying times when they thought there was in fact an active shooter inside the factory.
Michelle Newman, who works at the factory, said she was ‘beyond confusion’ when MPs showed up with their guns in hand.
“They held us at gunpoint and we basically had to put our hands up and walk towards them,” Newman said.
Toni Hamilton, who lives in Springfield and whose son works at the factory, described her reaction to the news.
“I didn’t know if I was going to talk to my son again in those seconds. It was horrible, ”Hamilton said.
Sheriff Deb Burchett said one of his deputies was punching the scene, and he walked straight into the building ready to deal with the situation.
Burchett was not amused by the “farce”.
“It’s crazy. It’s a bad joke, it is what it is, and it’s not a joke as far as I’m concerned.